Women’s Social and Political Union

Active in Britain c 1903-1914; major militant suffrage group; formed in Manchester, England, at home of Emmeline Pankhurst; included many socialist and working-class women; activists included Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst, Dora Montefiore, Ursula Bright, and Hannah Mitchel; journal Votes for Women.

Further reading:

Sandra Stanley Holton, ‘Women’s Social and Political Union (act. 1903–1914)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. [http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/view/theme/95579, accessed 20 Nov 2011]

E. Crawford, Women’s suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey (NY: Routledge, 2005)

S. S. Holton, Feminism and democracy: women’s suffrage and reform politics in Britain, 1900–1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Martin Pugh, The March of the Women: A Revisionist Analysis of the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage, 1866-1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

S. S. Holton, Suffrage days: stories from the women’s suffrage movement (London: Routledge, 1996)

S. S. Holton, ‘“In sorrowful wrath”: suffrage militancy and the romantic feminism of Emmeline Pankhurst’, British feminism in the twentieth century, ed. Harold L. Smith (Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990), 7–24

J. Liddington and J. Norris, One hand tied behind us: the rise of the women’s suffrage movement (London: Virago, 1978); new edn (2000)

J. Purvis, Emmeline Pankhurst: a biography (London: Routledge, 2002)

A. Rosen, Rise up, women! The militant campaign of the Women’s Social and Political Union, 1903–1914 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974)

A. Morley and L. Stanley, The life and death of Emily Wilding Davison (London: Women’s Press, 1988)

L. Tickner, The spectacle of women: imagery of the suffrage campaign, 1907–14 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988)

National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies

Active in Britain 1896-1918; major non-militant organization; influential members included Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Lady Frances Balfour, and Eva McLaren; focused on public education and pressuring male parliamentarians for woman suffrage as a non-partisan cause.

 Further reading:

Sandra Stanley Holton, ‘National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (act. 1896–1918)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. [http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/view/theme/96378, accessed 20 Nov 2011]

Leslie P. Hume, The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, 1897–1914 (N.Y. Garland, 1982)

E. Crawford, Women’s suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey (NY: Routledge, 2005)

S. S. Holton, Feminism and democracy: women’s suffrage and reform politics in Britain, 1900–1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Martin Pugh, The March of the Women: A Revisionist Analysis of the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage, 1866-1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Rosalind Frances Howard (Countess of Carlisle)

Born 1845 Cheshire, UK; died London, UK, 1921; represented the ‘radical left’ of Britain’s feminist aristocrats; leader in British temperance and suffrage causes and the Women’s Liberal Federation.

Further reading: 

David M. Fahey, ‘Howard , Rosalind Frances, countess of Carlisle (1845–1921)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn,

K.D. Reynolds, Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).

I. Tyrrell, Woman’s World/Woman’s Empire: the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in international perspective, 1880–1930 (Chapel Hill & London: University of North Carolina Press, 1991)